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Austrian president says snap election needed, details open

Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen addresses the media in Vienna, Austria, May 18, 2019. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

VIENNA (Reuters) - Austrian president Alexander Van der Bellen on Saturday said a snap election was necessary after the leader of the far-right Freedom Party stepped down as vice chancellor.

Van der Bellen said in a statement to the media that he had discussed the snap election with Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, who called an end to his coalition with the far right on Saturday and recommended a new vote. The two would discuss next steps on Sunday.

Reporting by Francois Murphy; Editing by Peter Graff

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